Mum joins claimants against axed school

THE mother of a 14-year-old boy who was found hanging in his bedroom has added her name to the claimants who are taking legal action against Cambridgeshire County Council. Gavin Adamson died in 1991. His name has just been added to the list of 115 ex-pup

THE mother of a 14-year-old boy who was found hanging in his bedroom has added her name to the claimants who are taking legal action against Cambridgeshire County Council.

Gavin Adamson died in 1991. His name has just been added to the list of 115 ex-pupils of a Cambridgeshire boarding school who are suing the county council for negligence.

The claimants allege they suffered physical and sexual abuse - including rape - at Ellindon School in Peterborough.

Children from across the county were sent to Ellindon. The legal claims relate to the whole of the school's existence from 1981 until it was closed after an investigation in 1998. Many of the school's pupils had special needs or behaviour difficulties.


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The case has been going on for four years and reached another stage on Friday at Huntingdon County Court. The judge, Robert Blomfield, will now allow the personal files of four members of staff at the school to be admitted as evidence.

One of the claimants is Susan Adamson from Ramsey Forty Foot, whose son Gavin was found unconscious at his home on December 20, 1991. His life support machine was turned off four days later on Christmas Eve.

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Gavin, who was at home for the Christmas holidays at the time, had been a weekly border at Ellindon School.

Gavin was the third boy of five children, three boys and two girls, born within five years. After having twin girls, his mother Susan, at 26, was coping with three babies born in a year and five children under five.

It was a social worker who suggested Gavin went to Ellingdon after he had been unruly at primary school.

An inquest into his death recorded an open verdict.

At the hearing on Friday, Judge Robert Blomfield allowed the claimants access to the files of four members of school staff who were named in court. They include a married couple, Tom and Pam Glowcyzk from Crowlands, now understood to be in their fifties, former foster parents. The judge said the allegations of abuse against the Glowcyzks "arched between" their home and the school.

The third file is that of Philip Murdy, now believed to be in his 50s and living in Ipswich. The fourth was that of Michael Lewin, now 56 and understood to be living in Yaxley. The court heard of an alleged incident on a school trip involving Lewin and a pupil. The court was told the girl had a child nine months later.

The case was first opened in July 2003. Over the years, Cambridgeshire County Council has advertised inviting ex-pupils to come forward if they feel they have a claim. However the claimants' barrister, Tim Meakin, told the judge on Friday many claimants had suffered psychological and social injury and needed help without further delay.

Judge Blomfield pointed out that the claimants, now in their 20s and 30s, are spread across the country. He said that psychological reports might already exist on those who had been to prison or who had been treated in psychiatric hospitals. The hearing is due to continue on August 29.

Kathy Yates, solicitor for Gavin Adamson and his family said: "It's difficult to put together a witness statement describing Gavin's life at Ellindon without input from Gavin and I'm reliant on talking to people who knew him. I know Gavin was popular at Ellindon, with a wide circle of friends. I'd like anyone with information to contact me."

INFORMATION: Former pupils are invited to contact solicitors Andrew Grove and Company in Cambridge. Call Kathy Yates on 0785 216 3112 or 01223 367133 or email Katherine@ andrewgroveandco.com

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